Sugar Blues

So many pictures of black boys and black men

my twelve going on thirteen year old self was overwhelmed;

almost more overwhelmed by the mug shots

than by the reason I was sitting at the cop’s desk

looking through myriad pictures

trying to pick out the one

who stole my virginity.

Under pressure from the police,

I finally picked out one

who looked similar enough.

How glad I was during the trial,

that his teacher verified his whereabouts.

Years, decades later, the subject came up again

and it came to my attention that I wasn’t the only one.

It wasn’t only my shame, wasn’t only my affliction.

It was a community epidemic

that it had its source in hatred of the feminine;

whether young or old, virgin or whore.

So I can’t act like I don’t know

or treat it like some feminine malady

that has nothing to do with me.

I gotta be real about it, not divorce myself from it.

I saw an actor in a film say

women are the sweetness of life

but somewhere along the way

sugar blues has taken up residence.

We got diabetic rapists, saccharin pedophiles

and just plain glucose driven men.

So this is a call to action.

If you bout it, bout it

if you’re truly about revolution

truly about change

you need to step up to the plate

and recognize the rigged game

that has us all, men as well as women

losing our sense of community

our sense of ourselves.

Tichaona Chinyelu 


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